Publication Type: Journal Article
Source: The Plant Cell, Volume doi:10.1105/tpc.17.00182, p.doi:10.1105/tpc.17.00182 (2017)
The import of lipids into the chloroplast is essential for photosynthetic membrane biogenesis. This process requires an ABC transporter in the inner envelope membrane with three subunits, TRIGALACTOSYLDIACYLGLYCEROL (TGD) 1, 2, and 3 named after the oligogalactolipids that accumulate in the respective Arabidopsis thaliana mutants. Unlike Arabidopsis, in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon, chloroplast lipid biosynthesis is largely dependent on imported precursors, resulting in a characteristic difference in chloroplast lipid acyl composition between plants. Accordingly, Arabidopsis is designated as a 16:3 (acyl carbons: double bounds) plant and Brachypodium as an 18:3 plant. Repression of TGD1 (BdTGD1) in Brachypodium affected growth without triggering oligogalactolipid biosynthesis. Moreover, expressing BdTGD1 in the Arabidopsis tgd1-1 mutant restored some phenotypes but did not reverse oligogalactolipid biosynthesis. A 27-amino acid loop (L45) is solely responsible for the incomplete functioning of BdTGD1 in Arabidopsis tgd1-1. Co-evolutionary analysis and co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that the TGD1 L45 loop interacts with the Mycobacterial Cell Entry domain of TGD2. To explain the observed differences in oligogalactolipid biosynthesis between the two species, we suggest that excess monogalactosyldiacylglycerol derived from chloroplast-derived precursors in Arabidopsis tgd1-1 is converted into oligogalactolipids, a process absent from Brachypodium with reduced TGD1 levels, which assembles monogalactosyldiacylglycerol exclusively from imported precursors.